06262016Sun
Last updateFri, 24 Jun 2016 2pm

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Standards

Industry and Regulatory Changes in Offshore Operations

On May 13, 2016, the offshore oil and gas industry received an important safety update from the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). Equipment manufacturers and operators of offshore wells were informed of defective bolts located on critical safety equipment. The problem was not new—in fact, BSEE cited reports going back as far as 2003—but things had reached a critical point.

The recent incidents involved bolts shearing on blowout preventers—one of the pieces of equipment implicated in the Deepwater Horizon tragedy. Blowout preventers are a last line of defense in the well-control hierarchy. Fortunately, they are rarely needed and some would say they are a valve system of last resort, with the bluntest closure being achieved when the powerful blind shear ram severs and seals the pipe in order to cut off flow in a worst-case scenario.


Safety All the Way at VMA’s 2016 Technical Seminar

To meet the increasingly stringent environmental and safety standards instituted by governments and standards boards, manufacturers and users alike must be constantly aware of changes and challenges for which they are ultimately responsible. Thus, the topic for this year’s VMA Technical Seminar, held March 10-11 in New Orleans, was greatly appreciated by the attendees as they were able to gather much-needed information from experts in the manufacturing, engineering and end-user sectors who shared their knowledge on this most important topic.

Piping Codes and Valve Standards

15 sum pipingAs with every intended use for valves, piping carries its own set of standards that valve companies and users need to understand. This article provides an overview of the codes (it does not necessarily cover detailed requirements for specific services).

The Case for a Severe Service Standard

The Case for a Severe Service StandardAt this time, no national standards exist that clearly define severe service valves (SSVs) or set them apart from general purpose valves.

Most experts agree that SSVs are identified by applications, and that these applications challenge the valve’s ability to provide a minimum acceptable level of performance over a minimum acceptable duration. All valve design functions require basic information, but for those valves destined for severe service, it is imperative to have a comprehensive understanding of the factors that affect their in-service performance. A recognized definition would benefit users through improved process performance and increased profitability, safety and environmental protection.

Important Change Coming to Key Valve Export Category

Important Change Coming to Key Valve Export CategoryThe U.S. valve industry has been hit very hard over the last seven years by export control penalties. Over 50 companies in the fluid handling industry, including numerous valve companies of all sizes, have paid penalties ranging from $250 million to tens of thousands of dollars in connection with violations of export controls. Companies have seen their names publicized in connection with violations of U.S. law and their reputations before key U.S. government agencies have been severely damaged. A number of those penalty cases arose because companies were not prepared for a series of past changes in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), which are implemented by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). Now, a new set of changes is coming to export controls on valves that can be used to handle chemicals. Companies have a chance to prepare for the change in rules and avoid violations.

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